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Forensic Psychology: Turning to Crime: Upbringing

A2 Psychology

Rajiv Ariaraj

on 25 January 2016

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Transcript of Forensic Psychology: Turning to Crime: Upbringing

Forensic Psychology
What is forensic psychology?
Forensic means "the application of scientific methods to investigative crime"
Forensic psychology is then "the application of psychological science to criminal investigation"
Although criminal psychologists may make deductions in cases, most forensic psychologists work either in the prison service or health settings.
They work to research programmes that reduce crime, understand the motives behind criminal behaviour or able offer a informed opinion on whether a person can be set free from prison.
They can also work in hospitals helping to diagnose people with drug addictions and can be attached to the police.
How well do you know crime?
Forensic Psychology
Turning to crime
Making a case
Reaching a verdict
(After a guilty verdict)
Interviewing witnesses
Interviewing suspects
Creating a profie
Persuading a jury
Witness appeal
Reaching a verdict
Turning to crime
Why might people turn to crime?
Disrupted families
Learning from others
Poverty and disadvantaged neighbourhoods
Which of the debates that you covered last year do you think will link into forensic psychology and why people turn to crime?
Nature vs Nurture
Freewill vs Determinism
The usefulness of psychological research
Try the exercise on page 2
Families can be disrupted in many different ways.
Death of a family member
Moving home
Although these events would have a impact on a child it doesn't necessarily mean they would turn to crime.
Developed the idea of "attachment".
This is the idea that children form a strong and long lasting bond with those that care of him or her.
In particular Bowlby was interested in MATERNAL attachments (attachments to the mother) compared to PATERNAL attachments (attachments to the father).
There are 5 parts to an attachment according in Bowlby (see page 3 in your pack).
The aim of Bowlby's study was to investigate the effect of maternal deprivation (lack of motherly contact) on the likelihood of turning to crime.
Bowlby investigated 44 juveniles who had been caught stealing and had come to a child guidance clinic.
Read and summarise Bowlby's "44 thieves" study.
Two groups:
Control Group
Each child in the clinic was assessed in 3 independent ways:
Their IQ was tested
Early life details were taken from parents
Psychological characteristics were analysed through a interview with a psychiatrist.
Bowlby found that the thieves were more likely to have been separated from their mothers at some point in their lives.
He concluded that maternal deprivation can lead to crime.
Can you think of any problems with Bowbly's conclusions?
Try the evaluation questions (page 5)
During the 1930s and 40s, many scientists believed that the behaviour of individuals (including criminal behaviour) was due to their biology.
Some even suggested that criminals were a different species from normal humans calling them homo delinquens.
Claimed that by measuring different parts of the skull, you could determine what the personality of a individual was.
At the end of the 1930s then, it was fairly radical that...
put forward his theory of
Differential Association
Sutherland claimed that criminals were not a different species or class of people but simply that criminal behaviour was more likely if you
spent time with people who were criminals.
How would spending time with criminals make you a criminal?
What you get taught as "right" and "wrong" might be very different to other people.
You might pick up "tricks of the trade"
You learn how to rationalise criminal behaviour into being acceptable.
As Sutherland was a sociologist, he believed that criminal behaviour was SOCIALISED into individuals as part of their upbringing.
It's not just a case of learning the techniques of being a criminal, but also learning the criminal culture.
Is violent crime the only type of crime?
When we think of crime, the first things we think of are murders, stealing and violent acts.
Sutherland invented the term
"white collar crime"
You learn the motives behind crime
Sutherland claimed that crimes like fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement and bribery are just as important as violent crime.
Can crimes like these be explained through differential association?
What about piracy?
Despite anti-piracy messages, how might you learn to not think of piracy as a crime?
Are there any crimes that differential association
would not
be able to explain?
Crimes that the individual would not have any experience of from their family and peers.
How might poverty lead to crime?
Government figures have shown those in the most disadvantaged 5% of the country were 100x more likely to have multiple problems linked to crime.

There are lots of factors that could explain why poverty can lead to crime.
However, do ONLY people in poverty commit crimes?
We will investigate what factors exist that make it MORE LIKELY that people in poverty will commit crime.
Conducted a
longitudinal study
in Peterborough from 2002 to 2012. The results are still being analysed.

Wikström identified a number of "criminogenic" elements that makes a neighbourhood breed crime.
These criminogenic elements will breed crime in any neighbourhood (however they are more likely in poorer places).
1) Weak social cohesion
2) Poor informal social control
People knowing each other and having positive relationships within a neighbourhood. Poorer places are more likely to have people moving in and out more regularly.
"Regular people" standing up and stopping minor disruptions in the community.
Other factors that can cause a person to turn to crime are related to the individual.
1) Weak morality
2) Low self control
The Peterborough adolescent and young adult development study
A longitudinal study over 10 years that followed the 716 year 7 students.
Data was collected from participants each year.
Read and summarise pages 9 and 10

Crime doesn't come from poverty itself but the CRIMINOGENIC elements (low social cohesion and low informal social control) which are more likely to appear in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
Morality and self control are also key factors in crime and these are dependent on family and schools.
Crimes depend on
a person is and
they are.
How much of
Wikström's theory can you see in
the following video?
Answer the evaluation questions on pages 10 and 11.

Write down one skill and one opinion you picked up from your friends and family
Have you ever witnessed a crime?
Did you do anything or not?
Full transcript